Using the outcome of my latest generative design study, I decided to begin focusing on the assembly of the spool holder, such as how it will attach to the printed and how a bearing might be integrated into the design to enable the spool to rotate smoothly.
I decided to place the bearing inside the conical part of the holder (connected to the arm), to enable a singular bolt to be used to allow the cylinder to rotate smoothly. A washer is used between the bearing and the bolt to facilitate a secure, flush assembly, aswell as a small spacer, extruded from the end of the cylinder to prevent friction between the two large circular faces.
I have also modelled extrusions into the face of the block at the other end of the arm that will slot into the body of the 3D Printer itself.
However, to allow potential users to adapt the design to different machines, I plan to make this a modular feature that can be removed and swapped out for a custom part, designed as the user sees fit.
Finally, I have considered the way that this will be 3D printed, in particular, the orientation of the print. Due to the loads applied to the part, and the anisotropic strength of 3d printed parts along layers (i.e. X, Y axis) this might be close to an ideal orientation. The parts at each end of the arm have been made level (to the XY plane) at either side to minimise the need for support material, amongst other design decisions to optimise the part for 3D printing.
My next step will be to prototype this assembly to test how well it fits together, and how well the generatively designed arm prints.